Edun was started in 2005 by Ali Hewson and Bono as a stylish means to maintain a sustainable, ethical relationship with Africa. In 2009, the company began to coalesce as a full-on fashion brand, thanks to support from French lifestyle conglomerate LVMH and the arrival of menswear designer Ricky Hendry. That isn’t to say Edun’s original mission is a thing of the past. By 2013, the label hopes to produce 40 percent of its collection in Africa, continuing to create manufacturing and community-building initiatives in countries like Kenya, Uganda, and Tunisia.
“We’re interested in bringing a little more structure to the collection for fall, incorporating a more tailored aspect, but in an informal way,” says Hendry, the brain behind the label’s avant-garde look.
That explains why soft-shouldered sport coats and knee-length topcoats are rendered in versatile colors like charcoal, and mix up tonal patterns like herringbone, glen plaid, and bird’s-eye. There’s a method behind the madness.
“We started the design process by looking at the similarities between the dress codes of Scottish clans and Masai tribes,” says Hendry. “Specifically, how the use of pattern and plaid as a symbol of cultural identity has been adopted and adapted to reflect a global cultural heritage.”
This design philosophy meshes well with the global mindset of the brand. “The Edun guy rejects convention. He’s creative and independent and is at home in the world,” says Hendry. “He believes the choices he makes make a difference.”
On The Model: Coat $598; Shirt $48; Jeans Price Upon Request. All available at us.edun.com
Click through for more Edun pieces...
this story appears in complex's december 2012 / january 2013 issue